Caroline A. Ayers Selected as the 2023 Mary V. Gaver Scholarship Recipient
For Immediate Release
Kimberly L. Redd, MSHTM
Program Manager, Certification and Talent Development
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR)
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the selection of Caroline A. Ayers of Black Mountain, North Carolina as the 2023 recipient of the Mary V. Gaver Scholarship.
The $3,000 scholarship was established to honor the memory of a past ALA president and Rutgers University professor, who made many contributions to library youth services. The scholarship is awarded to a person pursuing a master's degree in library and information studies, with a specialty in youth services.
Ayers has been a middle school teacher for nine years. The school she works in services children from a low socioeconomic background in a rural community. Ayers believes that “exposing the students to different ideas, identities, and religions through technology and books is essential” to providing a well-rounded and balanced education. Ayers comments that she is “passionate about providing students with examples of life that may be different from their own, while also providing marginalized groups with stories in which they can see themselves.”
Ayers wants to “continue inspiring students to learn anything they want in any way they want.” Ayers commented that she “chose librarianship as a profession because she believes she can help students gain power through knowledge that can change their lives and communities for the better, forever.” Ayers says she knows that “there is no greater gift in the world than the gift of hope through reading.” She has worked to give this gift to the students she has taught over the years.
Ayers is concerned about the issue of censorship that is currently plaguing libraries. She believes “this policing of knowledge goes against everything that she believes in and everything for which libraries stand.” She is hopeful that through her MLS program, she will be able to learn ways to protect school libraries from this environment of censorship. Ayers commented that “All people deserve to see themselves represented in books and media. The best way that we have to dispel stereotypes and open minds is to expose people to all kinds of stories about all kinds of people. Teaching students to better understand others will help them become better citizens.”
Ayers will attend East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina). She hopes that working as a librarian will enable her to lift the voices of marginalized people and help the students she serve to feel empowered by these marginalized voices.
For information on the ALA Scholarship program, visit our scholarship page.
The ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) manages the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse.